The Justice League Dark. You might not have heard of Detective Chimp. You’ve probably heard of Man-Bat. You’ve most likely heard of Swamp thing and Zatanna. And you’ve certainly heard of Wonder Woman.
One of the great things about the DC Universe and its stable of characters is that there are a whole host of outstanding creations – heroes and villains and characters in-between – that deserve their own stories told by great writers and artists.
That’s how Vertigo Comics was birthed in the mid to late 1980’s – on the backs of obscure characters, creatively reimagined for a new time. Who had ever heard of Shade The Changing Man, Sandman, Kid Eternity, and John Constantine, the Hellblazer, at the time?
And who doesn’t love relatively unknown characters, saving the world from unspeakable evil, unbeknownst to Superman, Batman and the bigger superhero players?
Every once in a while, DC Comics goes back to the well of obscurity and publishes a series that transcends the days in which we live. Just over ten years ago, under critical and fan favourite writer, Grant Morrison and a whole host of amazing illustrators, the Eisner Award-winning Seven Soldiers of Victory was published and then compiled into two volumes. This particular column highlighted the second hardcover compilation, which you can get caught up on here.
That series featured niche characters like Klarion the Witch Boy, Frankenstein, Bulleteer and Zatanna among others. It was an amazingly fun romp through the less-tread regions of the DC Universe. If you haven’t read it yet – you should. Be on the lookout for an omnibus version of the series, set to be published later this year.
No worries. We’ll keep you posted!
In any event, Justice League Dark #1 aims to bring back that sense of wonder – albeit darkly – to readers today.
It’s the second time a JLD series has been published by DC – the first one of which was written by fan favourites Peter Milligan (Shade the Changing Man, The Prisoner) and Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth, Descender, Black Hammer) and featured some of the first big-company work of now-superstar artist, Mikel Janin (Batman)! We’ve got entires for you to read about that series, here and here!
This time around, the not-usually-named characters of Zatanna, Man-Bat and Detective Chimp team up with the big name of Wonder Woman – here to help sell the book to quizzical fans. But Wonder Woman has always had a sense of the mystical and dark around her, so she makes for a good lead.
Written by James T. Tynion (Detective Comics, Constantine: The Hellblazer, Batwoman) and illustrated by relative newcomers Alvaro Martinez (Aquaman: Future’s End) and Raul Fernandez (Action Comics), Justice League Dark sees the strange team of heroes up against the nightmare threat of the Upside Down Man.
Putting their marketing weight behind the series, DC is even publishing a mid-fall crossover epic that will run through the pages of the monthly Justice League Dark and Wonder Woman series, along with a double-sized one-shot appropriately called: Wonder Woman and Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour. The title is a nod to the relatively obscure DC Comics bronze-age series, The Witching Hour,published from 1969-1978.
That’ll make for perfect Halloween-themed reading!
In the meantime, make the run to your local comic book shop today and pick up the not-so-obscure-anymore, Justice League Dark #1 – and traverse the darker corners of the DC Universe, with heroes as great as the ones the entire world already knows!